Published: 06:00, 06 August 2019
Security measures to help tackle crime have been included in a £1 million revamp of a Morrisons supermarket.
The company's Faversham store is halfway through a major overhaul which is due to finish by the end of August.
The refurbishment will give customers access to more products while keeping popular favourites such as the salad bar and fresh meat and deli counters.
The shop in West Street has been hampered with a series of break-ins and thefts this year and part of the work will see new features in a bid to combat thefts.
Store manager Mark Prowse says the store is fully aware of the concerns residents and shoppers have.
“We got a lot of negative comments from thefts and so we’re installing safety barriers,” he said.
“They can get in but they can’t then run straight back out when they close behind.
“We had a spell of nine break-ins in 14 weeks and so we’re installing shutters.
“It will show the local public that we are conscious of it.”
Mr Prowse said the changes to boost store security were also prompted after a store manager was attacked by a thief with a glass bottle which had smashed on the floor.
The incident left the staff member with cuts to his arm and head.
“I’ve said to staff I don’t want them to challenge it and we always call the police when it happens. I’ve got to protect my staff," he said.
“I can see from public comments that they think we’re not doing anything but we are.”
The most visible changes to the store will include extending the aisles to the full length of the store and ripping up and re-laying the car park surface.
Mr Prowse added: “The store is going through a complete refurbishment.
"The offer to the customer is expanding quite a lot.
"We had a spell of nine break-ins in 14 weeks and so we're installing shutters" - Mark Prowse
“Our fresh salad bar is moving to the front of store, we’re expanding our range of home lines, bedding and soft furnishings and cookware range, and our range of clothing to include young children.
“We are keeping our fresh open counters - deli, meat and fish. After Tesco closed theirs, there have been a lot of people who have come in and said they are glad about that.”
The six-and-a-half week programme started on July 15 with a formal reopening taking place on August 29.
The store remains fully open during the changes, with Mr Prowse saying they hope to keep disruption to a minimum by carrying out work overnight.
Extra staff have been employed during the transformation to help customers and Mr Prowse says he hopes the refurbishment will lead to better sales, allowing him to employ more staff in future.